HVAC Maintenance Contracts — Money Down the Drain?
Why should you get an HVAC maintenance contract? You may have heard horror stories about HVAC maintenance contracts costing more than the HVAC technician’s services and wonder whether this regular HVAC maintenance will prevent more costly issues in the future.
Maintenance is needed for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems to prevent normal wear and tear, replace broken parts, and extend the system’s life. In addition, an HVAC service contract can help protect you financially.
Purchasing a fully customized HVAC maintenance could be one of the best decisions you make for your home HVAC systems. But before you sign your HVAC maintenance agreement, here are some of the most important details you need to know about these contracts and the law governing this matter.
Types of HVAC Maintenance Contracts
The type of HVAC maintenance contract you get depends on your chosen company, your needs, and your HVAC system’s complexity. Different arrangements offer different services and features that can be tailored to fit your situation.
Full Coverage and Emergency Services Contracts
This type of contract may be in your best interests if your HVAC system is old, and you might be willing to get priority treatment if it requires repair. You may benefit from full coverage if you want to avoid performing even the most minor maintenance tasks yourself. Older HVAC units can collect bacteria and spread it throughout your home over time. Keeping your systems updated can help avoid these issues and keep you healthy.
When signing the HVAC service contract, check whether you will get preferential service on non-scheduled repair calls or as insurance for costly repairs. According to common practice, a licensed technician will be responsible for maintaining, inspecting, and servicing your heating and air conditioning system during an emergency and on an agreed regular basis—annually or semiannually. You can expect to pay a flat fee once yearly, no matter how many repairs or services your HVAC system might require.
Be aware that such contracts will not serve as a safety net from the expensive repair bills. Installing heat exchangers and renewing compressors usually are not included in most HVAC services contracts.
Labor Only HVAC Contracts
This type of maintenance contract covers labor costs but not the parts or services needed in case of repair. Read the document before signing to know what you agree to and which expenses will be considered additional.
The contract should also state who will do the repairs if something goes wrong. A great piece of advice would be to establish the price range for some equipment parts in the contract or some discount from the HVAC company for such repair parts.
Many facilities may lack the internal technical expertise to install some equipment like chillers to air compressors. Labor-only service contracts help address this problem. The agreement ensures you get a knowledgeable technician and specialized tools for determining what parts are needed.
However, unlike full-coverage contracts, it does not cover any costs associated with installing, servicing, and purchasing the necessary parts. Instead, its coverage is focused on HVAC repairs, replacement, and maintenance. Thus, while charging only once per year, such a contract provides a significant added value without fully covering all components necessary for the job.
Preventive maintenance HVAC contracts are designed to address and deter any issues your HVAC system may experience in the future. You receive yearly or seasonal HVAC system evaluations and expect to pay separate but discounted charges for any repairs or maintenance services offered in an inspection contract.
Since HVAC maintenance contracts are prepared and purchased ahead of time, ensuring preventative, emergency and complete maintenance of your system is essential.
What To Include In HVAC Contract
When you have HVAC maintenance contract options, ensure that the one you go with meets your needs. Consider the scope of services you will receive, within which timespan, and how the payment schedule works.
Timeframe. Your HVAC maintenance contract should include strict conditions on your technicians’ response time after you have made a call for service.
In an emergency, a technician should provide the necessary service to your HVAC system on time, preferably within a few hours or, at the very least, on the same day. Therefore, ensuring that your contract includes a specific timeframe is crucial, so you aren’t waiting for a technician for days.
Services. The only way to ensure your HVAC maintenance contract will hold up in a dispute is if your agreement contains all services your technician must provide.
If you have a full-service agreement with an HVAC maintenance provider, they should be responsible for covering a variety of services, including, but not limited to:
- emergency services;
- HVAC system testing;
- inspecting and cleaning ducts;
- replacing broken or defective parts.
The services may adapt to your needs. For example, the extended list may include testing the thermostat, checking gas pressure and leaks, checking airflow, looking at electrical connections, adjusting temperature settings, and more.
Payments. For the most part, HVAC maintenance contracts are pre-paid. However, if you are not comfortable with this payment structure, you can opt for a monthly payment plan to cover the costs associated with the contract.
It is essential to review the details of your HVAC maintenance contract carefully, as it should include information regarding how you can make payments, when to expect a bill, and how you get it, ex., through regular mail, email, or SMS.
When payments are not made on time or bills are sent with a delay, the terms of the contract should outline the consequences for failure to do so.
How To Get the Best Deal With HVAC Contracts
Ensure that you get the proper legal contract in three steps.
- Ask questions before purchasing
Before you agree to purchase an HVAC maintenance service contract, do not hesitate to ask questions. It would help if you asked the following:
- What types of repairs does your HVAC system need?
- Is your HVAC unit still under a manufacturer’s warranty?
- What is the average cost to repair this specific HVAC unit?
- How long will you need to wait to get emergency treatment?
- Check the company’s reputation
Before signing on with any HVAC company, it is essential to do research and check its reputation. So, you can go online and read reviews from previous customers. This step is a must to ensure that the company doesn’t overcharge or take advantage of its clients.
Doing research on your HVAC system can save you from potential frustrations and headaches in the future.
- Get a customized contract
The best way to be sure your HVAC maintenance contract not only backs you up but also makes it in the particular way you need is by crafting a unique and custom HVAC contract.
You may consult a lawyer, but it may be both time- and money-consuming. The best way to get the legal document without the attorney’s presence is to use the HVAC contract template. Such platforms as Lawrina offer complete customization for each contract, so you can specify all the details possible — how old your HVAC system is, the type of house, the climate you live in, your equipment and parts availability, and much more.
Get Help Crafting HVAC Maintenance Contract Today
With this deep dive into HVAC contracts, it should be easier to grasp the overall concept and choose the type of contract that fits you the best. If you still have specific questions or concerns, try using a lawyer match to find an experienced attorney online. Thanks to new technologies, we can skip the part of searching and finding free time for meetings and get help right away.
Once your HVAC system is fully operational, you can continue living in your home. If you’re struggling to get your property fixed and would rather get rid of it, contact us today. We buy houses as-is, regardless of the condition.